As a lover of Italian and American cars, it will come as no surprise that the Iso Grifo A3/C (and its Bizzarini 5300 equivalent) is one of my all-time favourites. Not that I need that as an excuse to feature it, because this car’s story stands up on its own.
Not long after being sold new in the States it was bought by a stuntman by the name of Carey Loftin. Loftin worked as stunt coordinator on the movie Bullitt, in particular the famous chase scenes. Not long after Bullitt he landed a job working on Herbie the Love Bug, and used the car in one of the race scenes. Of course, the Beetle blew its doors off!
Wind forward to the Seventies and at some point the front end of the car was destroyed by fire and the whole thing was stripped bare. It stayed that way until about four years ago when Jamie McIntyre, who’s racing the car at the Classic acquired it and restored it to full fighting fitness.
‘We stripped the paint when we rebuilt the damage to the front end’ he tells us, ‘and then with it bare and showing all of its scars we though we’d leave it unpainted. After all, the very first A3/C built was debuted unpainted at the Turin Auto Salon in ’63!’
Isn’t it beautiful? It’s not often that we have to prise Dom Romney away from a car he’s photographing, but with the Iso he could have stayed with it all afternoon, transfixed by its blend of aluminium coachwork and blind rivets …